Coming to My Senses

In this morning’s post, Richard Rohr recommended an all-senses meditation.  He noted our need to come back to our original bodily knowing. That we cannot do all our thinking with our minds.  That during times of stress, “remembering how to come back to our bodies can be tremendously beneficial.” I trust Father Richard. So I tried it.


What did I see?  Dark outside. Beloved desk, in the lamplight. What did I taste? Coffee with cream. What did I smell? Impossible to define enchantment of familiar house. What were my touch-sensations?  Elbow on formica, chin in hand, bare feet on the floor. Stomach growling. Air on my skin.


What did I hear? Ah, glad you asked.


Loudest was the eternal rush of passing carbon emissions on Major. Lower notes were refrigerator and HVAC humming, faraway rumble of a train.  That was pretty much it.


But now the backyard is waking. As it always does, with variations of season and weather. Ah there I go, thinking and remembering and assigning meaning!


Back to immediate perceptions:  Sleepy twitterings.  Emphatic proclamation: “see-bee-see-bay.” Now the first solemn “cheer, cheer” of this day. (It gets more cheerful as he continues.) Shadow-tail thundering across the roof.


Interesting that the emotions called up by this exercise are more than I expected and curiously paired:


Gratitude, and grief. Exhilaration, and cut to the heart. Presence, and absence. Dawning light, and gathering shadow. Thank you, Father Richard.


Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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